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Mask

Photo Credit: Rich Sanders, Des Moines

Mask

Artist: Anonymous
Date: date unknown
Medium: wood
Dimensions:
Overall: 15 1/2 x 9 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. (39.4 x 23.5 x 21 cm.)
Credit Line: Des Moines Art Center; Julian and Irma Brody African Art Collection, 1973.36
Accession number: 1973.36
Classification: African/Oceanic/Pre-Columbian
Label TextReferred to as a Bundu mask, it is the only African mask type used exclusively by women (although the masks are carved by men). These masks symbolize the guardian spirit of the Sande secret society. The closed eyes and pursed mouth would seem to embody the attributes of seriousness and spirituality. The complexity of the headdress, the broad forehead, and the rhythmic rings around the neck characterize the Bundu mask.The wide opening allows it to be worn more easily during ritual dances. Source: Bulletin, July-August 1974.
Exhibition HistoryWashington Museum of African Art
Published ReferencesAN UNCOMMON VISION: THE DES MOINES ART CENTER, Des Moines Art Center, 1998, ref. p.321, color ill. fig.5, p.320
entirely unexpected